Esther M. (1921 - 2006)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Novakovic, Schlinsog
----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, WI) October 4, 2006
Novakovic, Esther M. (January 16, 1921 - September 18, 2006)
Esther M. Novakovic, age 85, died on September 18, 2006 in Ithaca, NY.
Esther was born on January 16, 1921 to Walter and Alma Schlinsog in Granton.
Esther enrolled in St. Joseph’s Hospital Nursing School after graduating from Granton High School in 1939 and signed up for the Naval Nurses Corps in 1943. She served for the duration of World War II in stateside based hospitals. She completed her wartime active duty as a Lieutenant and took advantage of the G. I. Bill by finishing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Valparaiso University, all while remaining in the Naval Reserve.
She moved to Milwaukee, and began working as a nurse at Deaconess Hospital. It was at a social event in October 1950 that she met Mladen Novakovic, a WWII veteran and POW who had recently immigrated from Germany. She was called up to active duty in Korea about the same time she proposed and was married to Mladen on January 26, 1951. After a short duty during the Korean Conflict, Mladen and Esther began to make a new life for each other. Their son, Andrew, came along in 1953.
In addition to her roles as mother and wife, Esther devoted a great deal of energy to her career. Having worked her way up the career ladder, in 1985 she retired as Associate Director of Nursing.
In 1992, she and her husband moved to Ithaca, where she spent her last years watching her grandchildren grow up. We were grateful to have her with us, but Wisconsin was always in her heart.
She is survived by her husband, Mladen, of 55 years; their son Andrew; and grandchildren, Lindsey and Steven. She is also survived by her sisters Arlyne and Donna and the many brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and their children who make up her extended Schlinsog family, including her god-daughter Patty who was inspired by her to take up a career in nursing. She is further survived by her second daughter-in-law, Deborah. "Nana" is also remembered by new grandchildren and great grandchildren she gained when Deborah became her daughter-in-law.
She was preceded in death by her big brother Bob, who was her childhood best friend, mentor, and daily companion; her younger sister, Jeanette; and her first daughter-in-law, Monica.
A funeral service was held on September 22, 2006 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ithaca, NY. Burial services will be held at 9 a.m. October 13, 2006 at the Southern Wisconsin Veteran’s Cemetery in Union Grove. A Legacy Stone has been laid at The Highground Veteran’s Memorial (at Neillsville). Memorial donations can be directed to Wheat Ridge Ministries, a Lutheran health services organization located at One Pierce Place - Suite 250E, Itasca, IL 60143.
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